Skip to Content

10 Fun Things to do in the Short North Arts District of Columbus

Explore the Short North Art District in the heart of Columbus, Ohio! Discover public art, unique shopping and beautiful parks in this vibrant neighborhood!

The Short North Arts District of Columbus, Ohio is home to art galleries, high-end shopping, restaurants and Columbus’ oldest park! There is much to see and do and the Short North is a popular Columbus destination for date nights, Sunday brunch and fun community events!

The Short North is comprised of three neighborhoods: Italian Village on the east side of High Street and Victorian Village and Harrison West on the west side of High Street. Each neighborhood has its own distinct feel and the Short North Arts District is centered around North High Street, running through the middle.

Try out one or more of these fun things to do in the Short North!

1. Take a Walk in Goodale Park

  • Address: 120 W Goodale St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

Goodale Park is Columbus’ oldest public park, donated to the city in 1851 by Lincoln Goodale. It’s a beautiful city park in the heart of the Short North that features a large pond, gazebo, two playgrounds, a shelter house, tennis courts and more!

The 32-acre park is home to summer concerts, movies in the park, festivals and sporting events. There are a couple of free parking lots available. Throughout the park, you can find picnic tables and benches for seating.

The Elephant Fountain at Goodale Park in Columbus, Ohio.

My favorite area is the pond with the elephant fountain. The fountain was installed in 2013 and was created by Ohio artist Malcolm Cochran, who also created the Field of Corn in Dublin! The elephants on the fountain are a nod to the Sells Family Circus which was once located in Columbus and the Sells Manion, or “circus house” which sits at the corner of Buttles and Dennison.

The playground at Goodale Park in the short north.

There are two playground areas in Goodale Park: one for toddlers and one for older kids. They are not too far from each other, but far enough away that it’s hard to keep an eye on both if needed. Check out my Columbus playground guide if you need more park ideas!

2. Attend Gallery Hop on the First Saturday of Each Month

Arches in the Short North Arts District.

On the first Saturday of each month, businesses in the Short North host Gallery Hop, a festive event when galleries and shops stay open late and there is often live music, street performers and special events happening during the afternoon and evening.

3. Get Your Sugar Fix at The Yard Milkshake Bar

The Yard Milkshake Bar in the Short North offers extreme milkshakes and sundaes! These decadent shakes come in a Pint Jar that you get to take home as a souvenir!

A buckeye milkshake at The Yard Milkshake Bar.

The Buckeye is a milkshake that is exclusive to the Columbus, Ohio location! It features a peanut butter and chocolate combo, two buckeyes, and a red marshmallow drizzle!

A boy next to an extreme milkshake from The Yard Milkshake Bar in the Short North.

My kids loved the Unicorn and the Cookies N’ Worms! If the shakes are too big for you, you can order a specialty bowl in all the same themes. The sundaes come in a slightly smaller portion and price!

4. See Fine Art at Columbus Museum of Art at The Pizzuti

  • Address: 632 Park St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

The Pizzuti is a small art museum in the Short North neighborhood of Columbus. This private collection and building was gifted to the Columbus Museum of Art and CMA now oversees the collection and programming.

The Pizzuti Collection in the short north.

You can visit The Pizzuti for $5/person. It’s also free for members of the Columbus Museum of Art. Exhibitions change frequently so make sure to check the website to see what is currently on view!

Art at The Pizzuti in the short north.

Generally, The Pizzuti is only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday but it does close for installation of new exhibits so make sure to check the website before visiting for current hours. Check out my list of art museums in Columbus for more to visit!

5. Pick Out Your Favorite Candy at Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop

  • Address: 944 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201
  • Website

Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop has been a favorite stop for our family for many years! The store sells a wide variety of sodas and candy. You can find the most unique candies here!

Candy for sale at Rocket Fizz in the Short North.

If you’re looking for a unique or international candy brand, this is the place to look! They also have hundreds of different kinds of bottled sodas. It’s just tons of fun to visit the shop and pick out something you’ve never tried before!

Candy and soda at Rocket Fizz on N. High Street in Columbus, Ohio.

Rocket Fizz is located right where 2nd Ave intersects with High Street. It’s a great place to take kids of all ages in the Short North!

6. Get Nostalgic at Big Fun

  • Address: 672 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

Big Fun is always a good time! Stop into this store on High Street for tons of nostalgia! Big Fun sells vintage toys from the 1960’s to the present day. There are tons of fun things to find in the store like action figures, dolls, games, cars, gag gifts, and tons of collectible toys!

Big Fun in the Short North in Columbus, Ohio.

Big Fun will also buy your vintage toys. If you’re looking to either buy or sell a toy from your childhood, this is the place. It’s so fun to stop in and take a trip down memory lane! I always see something that brings back memories!

Big Fun toy store in Columbus, Ohio.

This is a toy store that adults will enjoy – maybe even more than the kids!

7. Look for Murals in the Short North Arts District

I love all the art throughout the Short North. Keep your eyes peeled for murals all around! The Short North is filled with public art including sculptures, murals and art galleries!

Two of my favorite (and probably most famous) murals in the Short North are pictured here.

Short North Gothic mural in the Short North Arts District.

“Short North Gothic” by Steve Galgas and Mike Altman

The Mona Lisa Mural in the Short North.

“Mona Lisa Mural” by Brian Clemons

A great way to make sure you don’t miss any of the art in the neighborhood is to download the Short North Arts District Art Trail from Experience Columbus. This free app gives you a list of all of the sites to see and allows you to check in as you visit!

8. Play in Italian Village Park

  • Address: 39 E. Hubbard Ave, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

This little park is a green oasis in the middle of Italian Village. There are permanent picnic tables in the park as well as a large green space and a very small playground area. This park is hidden away so if you don’t know that it’s there, you may miss it!

Green space in Italian Village Park in Columbus, Ohio.

If you’re visiting the Short North with kids and they need to get out some energy, take a rest break here and let them play!

Playground equipment at Italian Village park.

9. Enjoy the Art at Studios on High Gallery

  • Address: 686 N. High St. Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

Studios on High Gallery is the oldest artist-owned and operated gallery in Columbus! This art gallery is a collaborative of 20 local artists and there is usually an artist at work inside the gallery!

Art on display at Studios on High Gallery in the Short North.

There is something for all price points here from jewelry to large paintings. I love seeing the wide variety of art and love that it is all by local artists.

10. Take a Chocolate Break at Winans Coffee & Chocolate

  • Address: 611 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

Winans Coffee & Chocolate serves up a good-sized menu of specialty coffee drinks as well as all kinds of chocolates and candies! Their shop in the Short North is bright and filled with fun decor!

There is a decent amount of seating here so it’s a great place to take a break when walking through the Short North or to stop in and pick up a caffeinated drink! You can choose from their case of individual chocolates or buy a prepackaged selection of candies.

There are additional Winans locations in German Village and Dublin, too!

I hope this list helps you to explore the Short North Arts District in Columbus, Ohio. The neighborhood is full of unique boutiques, art galleries, and delicious eateries! It’s perfect for art lovers and foodies alike and exploring the neighborhood is always a fun time. Check out my list of 100 Fun Things to do in Columbus for more inspiration!

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

Save this post on Pinterest!

Fun Things to do in the Short North.